The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which is frequently called a trash “island,” is really not an island at all. I was surprised to learn that this “patch” is not one continuous heap of plastic and debris all stuck together as I first pictured it to be. It’s more like floating pieces of garbage, some seen, but most unseen, that are trapped in cyclical currents called gyres.
Captain Charles Moore, the person credited with discovering this garbage patch, describes seeing it: “what we came upon was not a mountain of trash, an island of trash, a raft of trash, or a swirling vortex of trash…It would come to be known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a term that’s had great utility but, again, suggests something other that what’s out there. It was and is a thin plastic soup, a soup lightly seasoned with plastic flakes, bulked out here and there with ‘dumplings’: buoys, net clumps, floats, crates, and other ‘macro debris.'”(4).
The above quote is from the following book: Moore, Charles, and Cassandra Phillips. Plastic Ocean. New York: Penguin Group, 2011. Print.